Yoga straps, sometimes called yoga belts, are a common prop used in yoga. While not as common as yoga blocks, yoga wheels, or—of course—yoga mats, yoga straps can be used for various purposes with many benefits to offer.
But how do you use a yoga strap?
Generally, yoga straps or yoga belts are used to offer assistance and stability for various yoga poses.
Yoga straps are used by looping the strap around different areas of the body to achieve difficult yoga poses and, as a result, increase strength and flexibility for those poses.
And while it might seem like the case, yoga straps are not just for beginners, as they can also be used by experienced yogis, thanks to their versatility.
That’s the short answer, however! For more information on yoga straps, including the benefits of yoga straps, yoga strap poses, and whether or not you should use a yoga strap, keep on reading.
What Are Yoga Straps Used For?
Yoga can be used for two main purposes: assisting yoga poses that are currently out of someone’s reach and increasing strength, mobility, and flexibility to achieve more advanced yoga poses.
Due to this, yoga straps can be useful to yoga practitioners of all skill levels and abilities.
Yoga straps can assist with basic yoga poses such as seated forward bend (paschimottanasana), as well as increase flexibility for advanced yoga poses such as one-legged king pigeon pose (eka pada rajakapotasana).
Yoga straps can also be attached to walls, poles, pull-up bars, and other stable objects, offering more ways that they can assist with various yoga poses (for example, wheel pose or urdhva dhanurasana).
So, in short, yoga straps have many purposes and the ways that they can be used are endless!
Types Of Yoga Strap
Not every yoga strap is the same, needless to say. And aside from different brands, colors, and patterns, yoga straps come in various sizes (lengths), thicknesses, and materials, with different ways that they can be fastened.
If you are tall or consider yourself not as flexible as others, a longer yoga strap is a good choice that can also give you more versatility.
Shorter yoga straps are better if, instead, you are already quite flexible and want to be able to easily store it away.
Thickness and material is another factor to consider, determining the durability, strength, and feel of the yoga strap.
Most yoga straps are made from cotton (which is good for most purposes), but are also available in other materials.
Lastly, yoga straps are typically fastened by either a loop or buckle. Buckles are easy to fasten but loops provide smoothness when transitioning between yoga poses. Despite that, this factor is largely a matter of preference.
How To Use Yoga Straps
You might be glad to know that yoga straps are easy enough to use.
Using yoga straps involves fastening them to the necessary length, then looping the strap where desired—your feet, legs, hands, back – or even a secure pole or wall—to assist with your chosen yoga pose.
This assistance can also be used to increase strength and improve flexibility or mobility.
For example, to assist with performing boat pose (navasana), you can use a yoga strap that’s looped around your feet and back to aid with mobility and reduce some of the weight (gravity) pulling down on your legs.
As another example, if you are trying to increase your hip flexor mobility, you can loop a yoga strap around your feet and slowly pull your body forwards with your hands, which can help you to achieve yoga poses like seated forward bend (paschimottanasana) and standing forward bend (uttanasana).
Yoga Strap Poses
In this section, we’ll provide some examples of yoga poses that can be done with the assistance of yoga straps.
- One-legged king pigeon pose
- Ultimate bridge pose
- Boat pose
- Big toe pose and reclined big toe pose
- Seated forward bend
- Dancer pose
- Crow pose and crane pose
- Peacock pose
Don’t forget that yoga straps can also be used for stretching!
This can be done by taking the yoga strap in both hands and raising it overhead, or looping the yoga strap around your foot and pulling on it to stretch your hamstrings, among other ways to stretch.
The Benefits Of Using Yoga Straps
Summarizing the above points, the benefits of yoga straps include:
- Assistance and support
- Increased balance
- Improving strength
- Improving posture
- Improving alignment
- Reducing resistance/weight
- Increasing flexibility
- Increasing mobility
Physical benefits aside, yoga straps are affordable, portable, and easy to store away. So, no matter whether you are a total newbie or experienced yogi, there are plenty of reasons to invest in a yoga strap or at least try one out.
Should You Use A Yoga Strap?
So, should you use a yoga strap? Do you need one?
Yoga straps offer a range of purposes and benefits, and are not exclusive to beginners and people with less flexibility or mobility.
Even advanced yogis with years of experience can take advantage of yoga straps, especially when used to achieve more advanced yoga poses that involve inversions or significant strength.
Overall, the main reasons you should buy a yoga strap are to assist with yoga poses that you might find currently difficult, such as dancer pose, king pigeon pose, seated forward bend, and more.
With this additional assistance, it can become easier to increase your flexibility and improve your mobility, helping you progress faster.
To wrap up, yoga straps offer assistance for yoga poses that require flexibility or mobility that might not be available to you just yet.
Using yoga straps can help you to hold the yoga pose while gradually building the flexibility and mobility to perform the pose unassisted.
Not only can yoga straps help you to increase your strength and balance, but help you achieve intermediate and advanced yoga poses in a shorter amount of time.
Thankfully, yoga straps are simple to use and can even be fastened to stable objects, such as doors, pull-up bars, poles, and more.